Freddie Hart, the classic country star known for his 1970s hit "Easy Loving," died on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the age of 91.
Hart was born Frederick Segrest on Dec. 21, 1926 in Loachapoka, Ala. At 15, he lied about his age to join the Marine Corps and served in World War II.
After returning to the states, Hart got his start in the music industry as a songwriter. His songs were cut by several artists, including Porter Wagoner ("Skid Row Joe"), Carl Smith ("Loose Talk"), George Jones ("My Tears are Overdue") and Patsy Cline ("Lovin' in Vain"). Hart also spent time playing in the backing band for Lefty Frizzell.
Though he recorded several honky-tonk songs in the 1950s and made waves in the Bakersfield scene, Hart's major commercial success was his 1971 countrypolitan hit "Easy Loving." The song spent three weeks at No. 1 and won the CMA Award for Song of the Year for two consecutive years, 1971 and 1972.
During the 1972 Academy of Country Music awards, Hart took home the awards for all five categories he was nominated for: Entertainer of the Year, Single and Song of the Year for "Easy Loving," Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.
Hart followed the success of "Easy Loving" with a string of No. 1 hits, including "My Hang-Up is You," "Bless Your Heart" and "Got the All Overs For You (All Over Me)."
Hart was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004. He continued to record and tour up until this year and recorded his gospel album God Bless You in 2018. The album, produced by David Frizzell, will be released on Nashville America Records.
Hart is survived by his wife, Ginger, and sons, Freddie Jr., Andy, Joe and Victor.